Ryan Braun finally cleared to resume swinging a bat

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Via Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

Leftfielder Ryan Braun, on the disabled list the last two weeks with a right hand injury, is scheduled to swing the bat again Tuesday in Washington.

Braun had been shut down from baseball activities while trying to allow the injury time to heal.

“Today was about as good as it’s been for him from one day to another, so that’s encouraging,” manager Ron Roenicke said Saturday. “We’ll see where he is.”

Braun has nerve issues in that injured thumb, so the Brewers are going to play this as safely as possible. Logan Schafer and Caleb Gindl have been splitting most of the available playing time in left field.

Braun was batting .304/.380/.509 with nine home runs and 36 RBI in 57 games before hitting the shelf on June 9. A potential Biogenesis-related suspension will continue to loom heavily over his rehab program.

Report: Astros, Michael Brantley agree to two-year, $32 million contract

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.

Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.

Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.

Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.